‘What is infection?’ Infection is when the body is attacked by a harmful organism and it colonizes in the body and affects the person’s health.
Infection cause major problems and suffering to the human population. Infection can be anything minor and easily treatable to more serious and in some cases deadly. There is a massive growing need for antibiotics to treat these infections which in addition costs the NHS thousands if not millions of pounds each year. For these reasons infection prevention guidelines and regulations have been put in place to help control and stop the spread of infection. The employer and employees’ have responsibilities’ to follow these guidelines set in place.
The employees’ responsibilities are; • They have a responsibility to their self, colleges, their employer, patients and visitors to ensure they are not at any risk of infection. • Risks assess any situation. • Use and wear the correct PPE. • Keep your place clean and tidy. • Use the appropriate decontamination methods. • Report any potential or immediate outbreaks of infection.
The employers’ responsibilities’ are; • Make sure employees’ and visitors have the right access to the correct resources to help prevent or protect against infection. • Keep up to date policies which all staff should be informed as to where these can be found. • to monitor and set standards of cleanliness • To have the correct hand washing facilities and access points in place. • To ensure that all staff is trained on infection prevention and to make sure that all their training is kept up to date.
There are precautions that you have to take to prevent the risk of infection in the work place. The standard precautions are hand hygiene, correct PPE, a procedure to follow if incase of a sharps injury, a safe handling procedure of blood and body fluids and spillages, cleaning and decontamination procedure, safe handling and disposal of linen and waste and also the correct procedure in reporting of major outbreaks. The possible impact that an outbreak of infection will have on the work place can be minor or major. For instance depending on the type of outbreak it may not be nessercary to close the ward or department but take the correct steps in isolating the infection which would be isolating and patients with the infection, deep cleaning the ward or department, extra PPE measurements and reporting of the outbreak to the infection control manager and your line manager. On a major outbreak of infection it would be necessary to close the ward to contain the spread of infection. The outbreak will be reported to the infection prevention control team and it will be up to them to decide on the closure of the ward. In the case of the ward closure you will be unable to accept new admissions or inter ward patient transfers and patients will not be able to be discharged to other hospitals or homes.
The term risk means ‘The hazard or chance of losses. There are many potential risks of infection within the work place, some of the main causes being Diarrhoea and vomiting, Norovirus, MRSA, Clostrium difficile, scabies, Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy and Flu. In the work place you need to carry out a risk assessments these consist of assessing the risk logically and analysing and evaluating the potential risk. You